Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com’s NFL simulation engine generates predictions and box scores for every NFL game for the coming week. Our highly sophisticated algorithms simulate every play of every game to produce each team’s likelihood to win. Each matchup is simulated 501 times.
To account for injuries and roster moves announced late in the week, we will be re-simulating games on Thursdays through the season.
Note: Our predictions use the latest available team and player information, while NFL SimMatchup includes all players that were or will be available at any point during the 2015 season so that theoretical and "what if" scenarios can be simulated.
Article continues below ...
Week 12 in Review
With bye weeks officially in the rearview mirror, our NFL simulation engine predicted a full slate of games, producing a 10-6 record. While the 6-6 record against the spread was nothing to write home about, we’ve avoided dropping below .500 for seven consecutive weeks.
Wide Right: Heading into their Turkey Day clash at Lambeau Field, the Packers seemed like a safe pick over Chicago. Our simulation engine took Green Bay 70.3 percent of the time by an average score of 29-21. Instead of a comfortable victory for the Packers, Chicago got the only score of the second half en route to a 17-13 win.
Seahawks at Vikings: After losing four of its first six games, Seattle has bounced back to win four of its last five. While the 9-2 Cardinals will be tough to catch in the NFC West, the 6-5 Seahawks are very much in the playoff hunt. They’ll face a tough test Sunday afternoon against Adrian Peterson and the 8-3 Vikings. We simulated the matchup 501 times and Minnesota defended home field 60.5 percent of the time, beating Seattle by an average score of 24-20.
Week 13 Upset Pick
Texans (+3) over Bills: The Texans, winners of four consecutive games, are tasked with maintaining their positive momentum in Buffalo. Oddsmakers have given the Bills a slight edge, but our simulation engine disagrees. Houston won 51.5 percent of simulations and covered the three-point spread 54.1 percent of the time.
Fantasy Start — Shaun Draughn, SF: With Carlos Hyde still recovering from a foot injury, Draughn is likely to receive the bulk of touches against a Chicago defense that has surrendered the fourth-most rushing yards in the NFL. We’re projecting 15.1 fantasy points for Draughn.
Fantasy Sit — Drew Brees, NO: After scoring 7.1 fantasy points against Houston in Week 12, Brees may be in for another tough outing against the Panthers this week. Carolina has given up the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2015. Better options may be available.
Fantasy Add — David Johnson, ARI: With starting running back Chris Johnson expected to miss six-to-eight weeks and backup Andre Ellington doubtful with turf toe, David Johnson will be a popular Week 13 acquisition. He’s projected to score the 12th-most points among running backs this week.